rio grande valley

Mesquite Is the Latest Culinary Darling

May 7, 2024 | By

Experience Harlingen in the Rio Grande Valley Like a Local

March 20, 2024 | By Cynthia J. Drake

Meet Spike, the Toughest Tortoise in Texas

March 19, 2024 | By

A Weekend Getaway in Port Isabel Brims with Seaside Treasures

March 19, 2024 | By Cat Cardenas

Chorizo de San Manuel Remains a True Taste of the Rio Grande Valley

February 16, 2024 | By Daynara Gutierrez

2023 in Photos: A Year of Exploring Texas

November 21, 2023 | By

I Once Asked Tejana Author Gloria Anzaldúa for Advice. Nearly 30 Years Later, I Visited Her Grave to Thank Her.

September 26, 2023 | By Erasmo Guerra

Were we going the right way? My little brother and I had never been to Hargill, a small town northeast of Edinburg, but we pressed on through the South Texas heat and the desolate backroads that cut through endless farmland that rolled into oblivion.

At the UFO Festival in Edinburg, You Don’t Have to Be a Believer to Have Fun

August 25, 2023 | By Thomas Denton

Imagine a night out with the family: There are vendors selling kitschy items, food trucks, live music, and fire dancers.

Get Lost in the Shelves of the Massive McAllen Public Library

August 11, 2023 | By Thom Denton

Walking into the 123,000-square-foot McAllen Public Library in the Rio Grande Valley on a sizzling summer day is akin to stumbling upon a lush oasis after traversing the blazing South Texas desert.

Grupo Frontera Has Gone Global. But They’re Still Puro 956

August 3, 2023 | By Cat Cardenas

Freddy Fender Gets His Due with A Texas Historical Marker

April 26, 2023 | By Steven Hughes

The Rio Grande Valley Is a Land of Infinite Zest

March 28, 2023 | By Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

How Brownsville Became the ‘Chess Capital of Texas’

March 17, 2023 | By Sarah Thurmond

“Once you’re a champion, you’ll be a champion for the rest of your life,” Jose J.

Las Ramblas Cocktail Lounge Brings Nightlife to Historic Downtown Brownsville

November 23, 2022 | By Danielle Lopez

Editor’s Note: Valley Roots

September 29, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

This month’s story on Texas’ only native pepper, the chile pequin, originated from a conversation between our new senior editor, Danielle Lopez, and her father.

Rio Grande Valley Birder Tiffany Kersten Set a ‘Big Year’ Record

August 25, 2022 | By S. Kirk Walsh

A warm breeze rustled the fronds of sabal palm trees as Tiffany Kersten pulled into the parking lot of Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco.

Return of the Winter Texans: Migrating South for Warmer Climes

November 26, 2021 | By Heather Brand

Seasonal migration is underway, and it’s not just cranes and warblers making their way to Texas.

The Music of Conjunto Inventor Narciso Martinez Lives on in San Benito and Our Hearts

October 29, 2021 | By John Nova Lomax

Today marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Narciso Martinez, the inventor of conjunto music and a man whose sound has spread far and wide, becoming as identifiably a part of the Texan landscape as bluebonnets and Longhorns.

Roadside Oddity: The Killer Bee of Hidalgo, Texas

October 13, 2021 | By Tyler Stoddard Smith

There’s a line in Act IV of Hamlet, where Claudius says to Gertrude, “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.” Change the word “sorrows” to “bees,” and while the result may be an unpopular sentiment among Shakespeare scholars, it will assuredly resonate with people who have faced down the threat of a swarm of killer bees.

Resacas are the Natural Wonders of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley

May 27, 2021 | By Lydia Saldaña

Spring Into Action with Day Drives to the Davis Mountains, Rio Grande Valley, and Edwards Plateau

April 2, 2021 | By Joe Nick Patoski

Whether you’re a Texas history buff or a fan of cowboy culture or an explorer of high-mountain peaks, these spring road trips are just what you need to get away for a day and visit parts of the state you may not normally think of for one-day excursions.

Fall Getaway: Follow the Butterfly Trail in the Valley

September 30, 2019 | By Daniel Blue Tyx

The Texas Butterfly Festival promises visitors “the best butterflying in America.” It might seem like hyperbole were the claim not backed up by the fact that the Rio Grande Valley contains a greater diversity of butterflies than anywhere else in the country—more than 300 species and counting, or roughly 40 percent of the butterflies in North America. You can see a great deal of them at the festival, which takes place the first week of November at the National Butterfly Center in Mission. All of those butterflies—condensed within a region that’s easy to traverse over a weekend—make a fall tour of the Valley a must-do on any Texas bucket list

Visit the Bootmaking Masters in the Birthplace of the Cowboy Boot

August 29, 2019 | By W.K. Stratton

In the world of custom cowboy boots, the Rio Grande Valley in particular is known for its bootmaking heritage, both for the number of bootmakers concentrated in the four-county area at the southern tip of Texas and for the high quality of their work. My purpose for this trip is to order custom boots from two of the Valley’s master bootmakers, Armando Duarte Rios in Raymondville and Henry Camargo in Mercedes.

Eat Your Way Through the Taco Capital of Texas at These 7 Taquerias

August 29, 2019 | By José R. Ralat

The tacos you’ll find on Southmost come in three varieties: breakfast tacos, fried tacos, and beef tacos. Trying them all is essential. Breakfast tacos go by the name tortillas de harina because of the 10-inch flour tortillas they’re served in. They’re typically filled with ingredients as familiar as chorizo and eggs, or as regionally specific as weenies (sliced Vienna sausages or hot dogs) and eggs. Fried tacos, like tacos dorados (deep-fried folded corn tortillas) and flautas (rolled and fried), are also popular—some are drowned in salsa, earning the moniker ahogados. Most prevalent are the beef preparations like barbacoa, bistek (thinly sliced), fajita, and mollejas (sweetbreads). They’re generally smaller in size and served in orders of three to six—closer to what most Americans would recognize as “street tacos.”

My Hometown: Donna Painter-Based Gabriel Salazar Talks About His Love for the Rio Grande Valley

March 21, 2019 | By Clayton Maxwell

Landscape painter Gabriel Salazar has long been inspired by the lush fields of citrus and palms surrounding Donna. As a boy, with the help of his father’s American employer, Salazar immigrated to this Rio Grande Valley town from a small community near Monterrey,

Delia’s Tamales Define Christmas in the RGV

November 29, 2018 | By Kelly Stocker

Delia Lubin, the namesake of this holiday season staple, started her tamale empire—which includes six restaurants, a food truck, and a mail-order business—with just 5 pounds of masa and the need to provide for her young family.

Rio Grande Grill

November 4, 2018 | By Daniel Blu Tyx

Head South to Indulge in the Valley’s Signature Summer Treat

July 24, 2018 | By Daniel Blue Tyx

The surest sign that summer has arrived in the Rio Grande Valley is the line at the raspa stand stretching around the block. While the shaved-ice concoctions have caught on in cities across Texas, the Valley remains the undisputed mecca. At roadside stands in every city and town—no matter how small—you can find flavors that range from classic mango and creamy tres leches to extreme, Instagram-worthy delicacies topped with gummy bears, Oreos, Kool-Aid powder, or even pickles.

The Alamo Inn B&B Welcomes Birders Flocking to the Rio Grande Valley

April 17, 2017 | By Daniel Blue Tyx

On the historic Alamo town square—bordered by a shaded plaza with a bandstand—we found the round sign with a picture of a golden-fronted woodpecker that marks the Inn’s entrance. Innkeeper Keith Hackland greeted us warmly. White-haired and soft-spoken, Keith dressed the part of a birder in hiking boots, cargo pants, and a long-sleeved camp shirt. His accent from his native South Africa made me wonder how he ended up in the Valley—a story he’d share later. For now, he led us through the lobby to a literature rack nearly as high as the ceiling. “We offer our guests information as far as birding goes,” Keith said modestly as he assembled a voluminous sheath of brochures, maps, and checklists.

On Valley Time

January 12, 2017 | By Daniel Blu Tyx

When I told my wife, Laura, about my idea of a road trip across the Rio Grande Valley, she was initially skeptical.

The Early Bird’s Reward

October 14, 2016 | By Daniel Blue Tyx

When nature enthusiasts think of the Rio Grande Valley, they most often picture the glimmering resacas and moss-hung forests of destinations like the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

The Lakes Less Paddled

September 15, 2015 | By Erich Schlegel

Back in 1973, times were simple on Acacia Lake Drive. Our family had just moved to Brownsville from Mexico City.

How Sweet It Is!

December 12, 2014 | By Eileen Mattei

People tasting fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juices from the Rio Grande Valley often use adjectives such as “luscious” and “ambrosial.” With its heavenly taste, aroma, and color, Texas citrus reaches tree-ripened perfection.

Where Aloe is King

December 12, 2014 | By Eileen Mattei

Luxuriating in the tropically landscaped oasis of Hilltop Gardens, I feel sheltered from the world by palms, hibiscus, and birds of paradise.

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